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UNRWA Fires Staff Members With Immediate Effect Following Alleged Involvement In The October 7th Terror Attacks In Israel; Jurors Set To Begin Deliberation In The Second E. Jean Carroll Defamation Case Against Donald Trump; Slow Loris Now In Danger Of Going Extinct. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired January 26, 2024 - 12:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone, live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga. Zain is off today. You are watching ONE WORLD. We're

following two major stories from the Middle East to bring you. In a moment, reaction to a ruling by the International Court of Justice in the genocide

case brought by South Africa against Israel.

But first, a shocking scandal involving the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees. The UNRWA is firing staff members with immediate

effect following alleged involvement in the October 7th terror attacks in Israel.

The agency says information was provided to it by Israeli authorities and that the decision to remove staff immediately was to protect the agency's

ability to deliver aid to civilians in Gaza. UNRWA says that it has launched an investigation into the matter. CNN has asked the Israeli

authorities and UNRWA for information on the nature of that alleged involvement in the October 7th attacks.

Also, The Hague just hours ago -- the U.N.'s top Court ordering Israel to take all measures to prevent genocidal acts as it wages war against Hamas

in Gaza. South Africa brought the case to the Court in hopes of ending the conflict. However, the ICJ stopped short of ordering a ceasefire, though

telling Israel to report back within a month to show how it is complying with the Court's order. Israel's Prime Minister reiterated that Israel has

a right to defend itself.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: The charge of genocide leveled against Israel is not only false, it's outrageous. On the eve of the

International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I again pledge as Israel's Prime Minister, never again.


GOLODRYGA: In South Africa, the President there, Cyril Ramaphosa, celebrated the decision, which the government called a decisive victory.

And in The Hague, South Africa's foreign minister told reporters that in order for Israel to comply with the Court's ruling, a ceasefire would be

necessary. She says the focus on the Palestinian people cannot waver.


NALEDI PANDOR, SOUTH AFRICAN FOREIGN MINISTER: The real issue is the people of Palestine who are being killed every day. The people of Palestine

who are sleeping in the cold. The people of Palestine who are denied food, water and energy. That is the critical issue that all of us should focus



GOLODRYGA: We are covering all angles of the story. Jeremy Diamond is in Tel Aviv for us, David McKenzie is in Johannesburg, and Ben Wedeman will be

joining us from Beirut.

But we want to begin with Jeremy and a closer look at those alarming allegations against UNRWA staff members accused of involvement in the

October 7th attacks. Jeremy, give us a sense as to what detail these allegations entail and what led UNRWA to ultimately terminate the contracts

of 12 employees in the Sage Department here in the U.S. temporarily cutting off funding for the group.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, this is -- these are startling allegations, although we don't have very much detail about

exactly what is being alleged, what kind of evidence Israel provided to UNRWA, but the bottom line is that it is resulting in a couple of

significant actions.

First of all, UNRWA firing several staff members, although it didn't say exactly how many, as a result of the information that was provided to them

by Israel alleging that these UNRWA staffers were involved in Hamas' October 7th terrorist attacks. And also, the U.S. State Department, quote,

"temporarily paused additional funding", according to a State Department spokesman and that's important because the United States is the single

largest donor to UNRWA providing some $296 million to the U.N. agency just last year.

And -- but it's also important to keep in mind that what they are saying here. They are saying temporarily pausing additional funding, and so it's

unclear whether or not that's actually going to have an impact on current UNRWA operations which of course are much needed at this very moment in


Beyond that, other critical context is the fact that the State Department says here that they are talking about a dozen UNRWA employees -- 12 UNRWA

employees who are alleged by Israel to have had connections to Hamas' October 7th attacks.

And to put that in context, UNRWA had 13,000 staffers in Gaza at the time of those attacks, but nonetheless, very startling allegations and something

that clearly went all the way up to the U.S. Secretary of State, who just yesterday, we're told, spoke directly with the U.N. Secretary General to

ensure that there would be accountability for these actions.


GOLODRYGA: Jeremy, these allegations have been out there for a while now, so it's interesting the timing of this. I did ask Tom White, the Director

of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza, about these allegations, some of them on December 4th. I want to play for you that exchange and his response.


GOLODRYGA: On Saturday, the IDF said that it found dozens of rockets hidden under boxes marked with UNRWA's insignia in northern Gaza. Another

issue I'd like to raise with you is an Israeli reporter over the weekend from Channel 13, cited one of the abductees who had returned back to Israel

and said that he was held by an UNRWA teacher, a father of 10.

This teacher locked the victim away, barely provided food and neglected medical needs. UNRWA responded to this post and said, quote, "making

serious allegations in the public domain unsupported by any evidence or verifiable facts and support thereof may amount to misinformation".

That reporter then responded and said, that's not an allegation, that's survivor's testimony. How is UNRWA investigating or responding to these two

quite damning allegations?

THOMAS WHITE, DIRECTOR, UNRWA: So, what I can speak to is our aid. Essentially, the aid that UNRWA is bringing in goes directly into the hands

of the refugee. So on any given day here, we are distributing over 50,000 bags of flour to families so that they can provide for themselves. But we

account for that.

GOLODRYGA: Does it bother you then at all that some of these trucks may be bringing secretly smuggling in rockets that UNRWA teachers are hiding

abductees, allegedly?

WHITE: Look, our trucks are not bringing in rockets. Our trucks are bringing in wheat flour. They're bringing in supplies that help families

eke out a very basic existence.


GOLODRYGA: So, that was the response on December 4th. How is UNRWA now responding to these developments today?

DIAMOND: Well, the most concrete way in which they are responding, of course, is immediately terminating some of these staffers who Israel

provided evidence that they were involved in these attacks. What they are also saying is they are calling these shocking allegations, that's

according to Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, and he's also making clear that anyone involved, quote," will be held accountable, including

through criminal prosecution".

Though he is also making the distinction here by saying that the reason why they fired them is in particular to, quote, "protect the agency's ability

to deliver humanitarian assistance". And I think ultimately, for UNRWA, while they say they are certainly shocked by these allegations and they are

clearly taking action here, they don't want the focus to be on this. They want the focus to be back on the plight of millions of people in Gaza.

And that's why, as part of this statement, Philippe Lazzarini turned back the focus to what is happening in Gaza, saying that these allegations come

as two million people depend on life-saving assistance provided by UNRWA. So, clearly that agency concerns that these allegations could potentially

result in a loss in funding.

At least for now it has resulted in the U.S. temporarily suspending additional funding, which seems like more of a kind of accountability

measure to ensure that the U.N. is going to follow up on this rather than stopping funding altogether. But clearly concerning allegations from one of

the key U.N. agencies that is involved in trying to stem what is certainly a humanitarian crisis in Gaza at the moment.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, that's such an important point and we should also reiterate that we don't know of those that have been terminated, the

staffers there, if they were those that I had brought up in the conversation with Tom White. We're still learning more details on that

front. But Jeremy, quickly remind our viewers of why UNRWA's work inside of Gaza is so important, what it is that they do on a daily basis.

DIAMOND: Well look, they are a critical agency in peacetime as well as in wartime in Gaza because of how many Palestinians inside of Gaza are

considered refugees and this is the main agency that takes care of Palestinian refugees. But at the moment, they are providing critical aid to

a place that is not only facing hundreds of thousands of people, are currently facing famine and starvation, they are providing food aid.

But they are also, involved in providing shelter to the, you know, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who have been internally displaced in Gaza,

including some near the Khan Younis area where we have watched over the last 48 hours as there has been intense fighting there, requiring the U.N.

to try desperately to coordinate the evacuation of some of those individuals.

And UNRWA also is involved in the trucks that go from Israel into Gaza, coordinating that with the Israeli military.


So, certainly, a critical agency throughout this process.

GOLODRYGA: Jeremy Diamond in Tel Aviv for us. Thank you. Let's go now to Johannesburg where David McKenzie is standing by with more on today's

ruling by the ICJ. Critical ruling here in decision, obviously the ultimate ruling on the charge of genocide won't be decided for years. This was a

preliminary decision, nonetheless, significant enough to get a reaction from top leaders in both Israel and South Africa. How is South Africa


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bianna, they're calling it a significant victory, this decision by the top U.N. Court to

say that at least there is prima facie, meaning face value evidence, that there could be a case to be had in trying to find, according to the South

Africans, acts of genocide by Israeli government on Gazans during this war.

Now, of course, the Israeli government has repeatedly denied this. They said the high-level delegation to the Court to argue their case against

this submission by the South Africans. The South Africans are now saying that they will want to discuss this at the U.N. Security Council or that

the permanent members and others should do that.

And they've called on the Israeli government not to slow down or, their word is, frustrate the application of this interim order. It's a binding

order, but of course it's not enforceable, Bianna. The next step, well, to be see --to see if there is any change in the tactics of the Israeli


They've said they're already doing a lot of what South Africa is calling for, as well as, in about a month or, so they're expecting or they are

compelled to give a report on how they might be reacting to the calls from this Court to avoid the possible actions that they are accused of by the

South African contingent. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and the Israelis from the initial filing of this case have dismissed it and have denied any of these charges, calling them blood

libel, but it is significant to your point of how this is implemented. There's no real implementation, though it's non-binding. It does make a big

statement to have Israeli representation at the Court and to hear even from the Prime Minister responding. Obviously, Israel taking this very


And when it comes to the question of why South Africa -- you know, South Africa has a historic commitment to the Palestinians. Many in South Africa

have compared their own fight over the years against apartheid to what Palestinians are experiencing.

But David, there's also critics who accuse South Africa of being hypocritical, given their close relationship with countries like Russia and

in real silence following Russia's alleged genocidal actions in Ukraine.

MCKENZIE: Well, that is definitely the criticism. I mean, first, to speak to your point about the close ties, definitely the South African

government, at least, and the ruling ANC has very deep ties to the Palestinian cause. Back to Nelson Mandela and even before that, that was

brought up by the South African President in his address on the issue of this ruling by the ICJ. Take a listen.


CYRIL PAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: We, as South Africans, will not be passive bystanders and watch the crimes that were visited upon us being

perpetrated upon other people elsewhere. We stand on the side of freedom for all. We stand on the side of justice.


MCKENZIE: Now, there has been criticism of South Africa saying that there is an irony, as you suggest, that South Africa didn't vote against the

Russian invasion of Ukraine and that their moral standing only goes so far. But certainly when it comes to the issue of the Palestinian territories and

the Palestinian cause, they have been very consistent over the years, I have to say, in being a vocal advocate for Palestinians and their rights.

It was notable that the Minister of International Relations also said that it was critical that Hamas release Israeli hostages immediately and that

this is one of the major steps that need to be taken. But they did say that there needs to be a change in the way that Israel is prosecuting this war.

And of course, this Court proceeding is how they've been pushing their support for the Palestinian people as it were, putting actions to their

words. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Yean and the Court also ordering Israel to submit a report back to the tribunal on the measures that it had ordered and how it's

implementing them within a month. David McKenzie reporting to us live from Johannesburg. Thank you.

Well, this verdict is being closely watched by Palestinians as the situation in Gaza becomes increasingly dire.


Ben Wedeman is following that story from Beirut. So, Ben, what is the initial reaction to this ruling from the ICJ?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianna, Palestinian officials and the Palestinian Authority were generally positive

about the outcome. Hamas, for its part, says that it will further Israel's isolation on the world stage. But of course, in Gaza, people were

desperately hoping that it would include an order for a ceasefire. That isn't going to happen.

Some people did point out that the ICJ did basically say that Israel should take all measures within its power to prevent the killing of members of, in

its rather awkward wording, the group. They're talking about the Palestinians, keeping in mind, of course, that as of today, the death toll

in Gaza in 112 days of war has now exceeded 26,000.

The ICJ also told Israel to do what it can to prevent the deliberate infliction of bodily and mental harm. Of course, more than 60,000 people

have been wounded. And in terms of mental harm, the trauma certainly of the children in Gaza is beyond measure at this point.

But while all of this goes on, the situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate hour by hour, minute by minute. And I have to warn our viewers

that the report they're about to see, they may find some of the images disturbing.


WEDEMAN (voice-over): Once again, the wounded are sprawled on the floor of Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City. Victims of what a civil defense official

says was Israeli tank and machine gun fire on a crowd of people waiting to receive desperately needed humanitarian aid.

People were going to get food and flour because they have nothing to eat, he says. Then suddenly, tanks appeared and started firing shells at people.

Hamandarif was injured in the hand and leg. They shelled us four times, he says.

Wednesday, at the same spot, the Kuwait Circle in Gaza City's southern outskirts, there were scenes of panic when, according to eyewitnesses,

Israeli forces opened fire during the distribution of aid. CNN has reached out to the Israeli military for comment, but has not yet received a


To the south, thousands are streaming out of Khan Younis, where intense fighting has been raging for days, leaving, however they can, traumatized

by what they've seen and what they've lost.

This is the third time we've moved, she says. All they have left in the world piled onto a shopping cart. This is as far as you can get safely from

Khan Younis. Between a sea of tents and the sea, some supplies are available. Close to 90 percent of the people of Gaza are now displaced,

many now living like this.

Winter rains have turned parts of this makeshift camp into a muddy pond. I'm looking for our things, he says. What they have found is anger at the

men who pose as their leaders. Look, Ismail Haniyeh, let him see us, shouts this man, referring to Hamas' political leader living in Qatar.

The war has raged now for more than 110 days. For three and a half months we've been on the run, says Iyad Abu Musaid. Let us go back to our homes.

We're sick of this life. Death would be better. According to the forecast, another winter storm is coming.


WEDEMAN (on-camera): And that storm has actually reached us. That's winter storm Daniella. It's also headed for Gaza, as well. And if you thought the

conditions in that report were bad, they're just going to get worse in the coming days. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: It's hard to imagine. Ben Wedeman, thank you so much. Let's get more reaction to the ICJ's decision and what it means for this war. Janina

Dill is the Louise Richardson Chair at the Global Security at Oxford University, and is also the Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics,

Law and Armed Conflict. And she joins us now from Oxford.

Janina, thank you so much for the time. First, your reaction to this decision from the ICJ ordering Israel to do more to prevent killings and

harm to Palestinian civilians. But stopping short, calling for a ceasefire?


JANINA DILL, DAME LOUISE RICHARDSON CHAIR IN GLOBAL SECURITY, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD: Yeah, it's in some sense as expected. It was quite likely that the

Court would find that provisional measures are needed because South Africa presented an exceptionally strong case. And the situation on the ground

leaves no doubt about the urgency of ordering provisional measures.

Of course, the Court has stopped short of ordering a ceasefire, which some people had hoped as sort of the only like reliable remedy to improving the

situation. But in some sense, there are not a lot of surprises here.

It is a finding that looking at Israel's actions in Gaza, a charge that Israel is violating the Genocide Convention is not implausible. And this is

obviously a very significant rebuke of a country that generally claims to obey international law.

GOLODRYGA: As we noted, the rulings from the ICJ are binding, but they lack enforcement. And on the one hand, you have Israel denying these

charges from the get-go, but also saying that they are abiding by these rules and the enforcements that have been handed down now by the ICJ. So

how do you expect Israel to move forward here?

DILL: Well, Prime Minister Netanyahu's first reaction seemed to suggest he wants to stay the course. And unfortunately, the provisional measures that

really concern how Israel conducts hostilities in Gaza are vague enough to potentially be possible because basically they say that Israel must ensure

that in the conduct of hostilities it doesn't violate the Genocide Convention. But it has always claimed that it doesn't, and the threshold

for violating the Genocide Convention is quite high.

The provisional measures that concern humanitarian assistance are a little bit more concrete. Here, the Court really very stringently said Israel must

provide assistance and it must report back in a month about that. The Court also amplified today the statements of humanitarian actors like the WHO and

UNRWA, which describe really in graphic detail the catastrophe in Gaza.

So, the Court seems to be very serious about that and it's a concrete measure. And to comply with this measure, Israel arguably has to change

course. So, I think there is some hope there that particularly actors in Israel that think that are misaligned with the government's stance on the

siege, that these actors now have a fresh argument to lobby internally in Israel for a lifting of the siege.

GOLODRYGA: Both sides, to some degree, are claiming victory here, and sort of cherry-picking the headlines that benefit them. How do you interpret


DILL: It's very hard for me to see how this can possibly be a victory for Israel, right. Israel is a democratic government that claims to obey

international law, sometimes says it has the most moral army in the world. And the World Court looked at its actions in Gaza and said it is not

implausible that it's violating the Genocide Convention. I don't see how that can possibly be a victory.

In some sense, it's a rebuke, and it is also a rebuke to the governments of the world that support Israel in its actions in Gaza, because assisting in

an internationally wrongful act like genocide is itself internationally wrongful. So, I think these governments have been put on notice and should

really re-evaluate their stance on support for Israel.

GOLODRYGA: How were they put on notice though if the Court fell short of calling for a ceasefire? Why didn't they just do that then?

DILL: There is a really solid legal rationale for why the Court didn't call for a ceasefire, because the Court only has jurisdiction over the

Convention on Genocide. It wasn't asked to generally rule on whether or not Israel has a right to self-defense or whether its operations violate other

principles of international law. And just saying Israel must cease all military operations would implicate these legal rules that really just

weren't in front of the Court.

So, it is not in the sense that Israel -- that the Court didn't feel like, you know, that stringent a measure to impose on Israel. It was simply not a

question that was asked of the Court. So, this isn't a sign -- it's not a concession to Israel at all.

GOLODRYGA: So, in that case, if the South Africans, from their argument, were looking out for the Palestinians and their ultimate goal was a

ceasefire, then is there a different route they should have taken to achieve that goal?

DILL: There are obviously diplomatic and political and economic routes to put pressure on Israel to further ceasefire. But in terms of legal routes,

if you want to go to the International Court of Justice, it makes sense to put before it a question that has jurisdiction over and has jurisdiction

over the question of genocide, but none of these other questions.

GOLODRYGA: The Court also said that all parties are bound by international law and called for the immediate release of hostages. What

impact, if at all, does that have on a terror organization like Hamas?

DILL: I think the impact here is symbolic. Hamas wasn't before the Court, which is one of the complications for the Court to decide this case. And I

think the Court was politically smart to basically start its pronouncements today by recalling October the 7th and condemning it again and by basically

closing it by with this general statement that all parties must comply with international humanitarian law and that the hostages must be released.


The Court really showed itself as very even-handed and unbiased, and I hope that actually helps that judgment find a fair hearing in Israel.

GOLODRYGA: Janine Dill, thank you so much for your time and expertise. We appreciate it.

DILL: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Well, some of Israel's top former National Security officials have signed a letter calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be

removed from office. The letter has also been signed by two former heads of the IDF and three Nobel laureates. It says Mr. Netanyahu bears primary

responsibility for creating the circumstances that led up to October 7th, and that the blood of those victims is on his hands.

At least 1200 Israelis were killed and more than 130 hostages are still being held in Gaza. The letter has been sent to both Israel's president and

the speaker of Israel's parliament. Mr. Netanyahu has seen a dramatic plunge in his popularity since he began his sixth term just over a year


Well, coming up for us, it is a critical day in the defamation trial against Donald Trump. So, why did he leave the courtroom during closing

arguments? We'll go live to New York. It's just ahead. Plus, we may soon hear from the mother of a teenager who shot and killed four people at his

Michigan high school more than two years ago. Jennifer Crumbley's lawyer says she will take the stand.


GOLODRYGA: Well, jurors could begin deliberation in the second E. Jean Carroll defamation case against Donald Trump this afternoon. This morning

there was an unexpected drama. And as Carroll's lawyers were presenting their closing arguments, Trump walked out of the courtroom. And separately

the judge threatened to lock up the former U.S. President -- the U.S. -- U.S. President's attorney.

Now, the trial will determine how much money Trump must pay Carroll for comments that he made in 2019. Earlier he denied even knowing her.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have no idea who she is, where she came from. This is another scam. It's a

political witch hunt. And somehow we're going to have to fight this up. We cannot let our country go into this abyss. This is disgraceful. You have

somebody running for office. The whole thing is a scam, and it's a shame, and it's a disgrace to our country.


GOLODRYGA: Trump has already been found liable for sexually abusing Carroll and then defaming her.


Well, it is the second day of testimony in a historic U.S. trial focused on parental responsibility that's taking place in Michigan. And the mother of

the teenage boy who killed four students at his high school in Oxford more than two years ago may take the stand.

Jennifer Crumbley and her husband James are being tried separately. They're are both accused of allowing their son an access to the gun used in the

shooting and failing to recognize the warning signs.

Last month, 17-year-old Ethan Crumbley was sentenced to life in prison. CNN's Jean Casarez joins me now live from New York. We've been following

this case by the minute, Jean. Tell us what we're expecting to hear today.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me tell you what the jury just saw. The jury just saw texts from Ethan Crumbley to his little school

friend made in his bedroom when the door was shut, parents didn't know about it. But the texts are -- I have mental issues. And I'm asking my

parents, my father, for help. Take me to a doctor. And my father is saying, oh, suck it up and take a pill. And my mother is laughing at me.

Now, here's the problem. Once he was arrested and he was in jail, jail psychiatrists talked to him about all of this. And what he said to them was

he was lying to his friend, that he was just talking. He was just lying. He even said in his sentencing that he lied a lot.

So, the defense wants to put Ethan Crumbley on the stand in this trial so he can clarify this, so he can help the defense. Well, the defense said

today, we just found out, he's going to plead the fifth. They still wanted to testify, but here's what the judge said.


CHERYL MATTHEWS, OAKLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN: I think it's disingenuous for the defense to say that they're surprised that the shooter would be taking

the fifth. You are a very smart, very experienced attorney. And, you know, all this stuff is sitting on my desk. There's a case of Jack Aloney, right?

You can't put someone on the scene knowing that they're going to take the fifth. And aside from shooter, what's your favorite color? What question

could you ask him that would implicate inspector member rights.

UNKNOWN: Okay, I'm sorry. This has to be a clear record. I --

MATTHEWS: It's not going to be a clear record now because the jury is sitting there.


CASAREZ: Because you see the brand new appellate attorneys are appealing the sentence of life without any possibility of parole, the harshest

sentence in Michigan. And so, they do not want him to testify. They say that he's going to maintain that privilege and not testify. And the defense

is saying we have nothing to cross-examine these texts on. Absolutely nothing. At the very least, there is an appellate issue.

GOLODRYGA: We keep describing this case as precedent setting potentially. Explain why, Jean.

CASAREZ: Well, because parents in this country have never been charged with homicide. They've been charged with neglect if the gun is around the

house and the child takes the gun and commits an act with it. But this is homicide. This is involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors are saying, you, Jennifer Crumbley, you are responsible for the four students that died that day at Oxford High School you neglected your

child. There's gross neglect. And you should be responsible for those deaths. She's facing 15 years in prison.

So, this is a first of its kind. But if there is a conviction, and even the fact that there are charges, it's precedent setting for district attorneys

all around this country to take notice of this case, to start charging the parents when there are heinous crimes that are involved.

GOLODRYGA: Thanks for explaining that so clearly for us. Jean Casarez, thank you.

CASAREZ: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Still ahead, coastal storms have walloped New England this winter, washing away businesses that have stood for generations. Well, now,

families face a tough decision in the face of climate change.


HANNAH BARANES, GULF OF MAINE RESEARCH INSTITUTE: There are people who are experiencing devastating intergenerational loss right now and almost in the

same breath they're recognizing the realities of climate change and saying how high and how strong do I need to rebuild or do I rebuild at all?





GOLODRYGA: Welcome back to ONE WORLD, I'm Bianna Golodryga. A reminder of our top story this hour, the UNRWA is firing staff members with immediate

effect for alleged involvement in the October 7th terror attacks in Israel. The agency says information was provided to it by the Israeli authorities

and that the decision to remove staff immediately was to protect the agency's ability to deliver aid to civilians in Gaza.

CNN has asked the Israeli authorities and UNRWA for information on the nature of those alleged involvement in the October 7th attacks. The October

-- the State Department says that it has also temporarily paused additional funding to the agency following these allegations. And we'll continue to

follow this story.

Meantime, across the U.S., it has been shaping up to be an active weather day. That seems to be the case so many days now. Residents along the Gulf

Coast are facing possible severe weather with the threat of flooding. And on the West Coast, a strong atmospheric river event is expected to bring

heavy rain over the next week.

In New England, where they are already dealing with the effects from two rare back-to-back storms, icy conditions are expected today. Take a look at

these iconic fishing shacks, which stood for over a century and were part of countless poster card shots. Well, the sea has claimed them amid the

extreme weather.

Communities along that stretch of the East Coast are now part of a new climate reality. CNN's Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir joins us from

Portland, Maine. And Bill, we've been talking about these unprecedented, never seen before, never experienced before types of storms now and weather

experiences with you for a few years.

But the question of how it impacts residents, and how they change their lifestyle, really, is top of mind right now and it's something that you've

been working with. Typically after a storm people just rebuild. How are people that you've talked to handling this new reality?

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's really interesting because a lot of times when we talk about sea level rise or ocean problems,

we're in the tropics. We're down in Florida somewhere thinking about it. But up here in New England where people really know weather and Mainers

really know weather and Maine lobstermen and fishermen are some of the toughest people on Earth, they are getting it on all sides.


Infrastructure, finances, dwindling fish stocks because the ocean giveth and taketh away. But these days, the body of water right over there seems

to be taking a lot more away year by year. Take a look.


WEIR (voice-over): On a planet warmed to record highs by fossil fuel pollution, the Gulf of Maine is among those corners of Earth overheating

the fastest. This is driving lobster and cod further offshore, making it harder to make a living off of the sea. But then the warming climate

brought another devastating blow this month. Two of them, actually.

Back-to-back freakishly wet winter storms that came not from the typical northeast, but from the south and at record high tide, a combination that

brought down wharves and docks that have been part of the landscape for generations.

WEIR: So, this was what that was?

MISHA PRIDE, MAYOR OF SOUTH PORTLAND: Yeah, the whole building.

WEIR: No way, that's what's left of it.

PRIDE: Just generations and generations of stuff and you know, there's a lot of memory down there.

WEIR (voice-over): Meanwhile, in South Portland, the storm surge took three iconic fish shacks built on Willard Beach a hundred and thirty six

years ago.

PRIDE: Pretty obvious they're gone. You know, if you've never been here before, you might not have a clue.

WEIR: You wouldn't know, right?

PRIDE: And they didn't leave any kind of impression up there either. There's no --

WEIR: No trace.

PRIDE: There's no trace of them whatsoever. So, the only impression we have is an emotional impression.

WEIR: Is in here, right?

WEIR (voice-over): The storms buried the last high water record, literally.

WEIR: Down there in the hole is the 1978 Blizzard High Water Mark.

PRIDE: Exactly.

WEIR: Is that right?

PRIDE: That's right. It was covered by sand in this most recent storm.

WEIR (voice-over): But all of this is what happens after just seven and a half inches of sea level rise in the last 100 years. And science is telling

Maine to brace for much more in the next 25.

HANNAH BARANES, GULF OF MAINE RESEARCH INSTITUTE: Maine is preparing for a foot and a half of sea level rise by 2050 and four feet by 2100. Mainers

are resilient. So, there are people who are experiencing devastating intergenerational loss right now, and almost in the same breath, they're

recognizing the realities of climate change and saying how high and how strong do I need to rebuild or do I rebuild at all?

WEIR: Were you insured?

UNKNOWN: No, no insurance. It's so expensive for insurance for anything over the water.

WEIR: Yeah.

UNKNOWN: So like me and whoever, you just can't afford it.

WEIR: Monique Coombs advocates for fishermen, which these days include sounding the alarm of a growing mental health crisis.

MONIQUE COOMBS, MAINE COAST FISHERMAN'S ASSOCIATION: You have memories there, you learn to fish there, your kids learn to fish there, and then

these storms come along and it's completely gone. That coupled with your community changing because now there is more mansions than there are fish


That takes processing. That's a sense of loss and grief and a way of life that's sort of fading. And it's, we're in a precarious position in the

industry right now, but fishermen are some of the most resilient people I know.

They're stubborn, which is a blessing and a curse and they're really good problem solvers. So if anybody can build back after storms, if anybody can

contend with climate change, I think it's those guys and gals.

WEIR: We see a similar dynamic with farm families dealing with the changes in the Midwest, the difference with fishermen often they're offshore. We

don't see them as enough. So, next time you have a lobster roll, spare a thought for these families up here and going through what they have to you

to get it to you. And also, this is another weekend down where we have mush basically falling from the sky, sleet and slush.

It's been so wet all year, all of last year in New England here. So, this doesn't help those ski hills that are desperately looking to bring back

some semblance of winter recreation season. So, not just families on the coast, it's folks across the northeast thinking about those

intergenerational losses.

GOLODRYGA: So important to have you there, Bill. I know you've traveled all over the world and across the U.S. addressing this issue, but most

people don't think of Maine when they think of climate change.

And talking to some of those folks there on the ground is a reminder of how devastating this reality has been for them. It's hard to find a silver

lining except to hear that fishermen are resilient, but it is also true that Mainers are reeling. A really, really fascinating piece. Bill Weir,

thank you.

Still ahead for us. They're cute, they're cuddly, and that's what makes them a poacher's prize. Efforts to protect the Slow Loris, up next.




GOLODRYGA: The Slow Loris is a small primate whose cute and cuddly appearance makes it a target for poachers. They're generally found in

Southeast Asia, where their habitat has been drastically reduced in recent times. As a result, they're in danger of going extinct. Lynda Kinkade

reports on how one organization is now trying to protect the Slow Loris.


LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Eyes are nocturnal primates, known as the Javan Slow Loris. They may look adorable, but many are in distress.

Habitat loss and the wildlife trade have forced them from their home of Java Island in Indonesia.

In the past two decades, their population has been declining. Conservationists estimate 80 percent wiped out over that time and less than

20 percent of suitable habitat remains. In addition to losing their home, they're also part of the illegal wildlife trade. Sold as pets, Slow Lorises

are critically endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

NUR PURBA PRIAMBADA, VETERINARIAN, INTERNATIONAL ANIMAL RESCUE: Only one step away from the brink of extinction, the population has been in rapid

decline because of the loss of habitat due to human land use, not to mention poaching and illegal trade for pets.

KINKADE: Organizations and activists have stepped in to save these tiny creatures. In 2015, International Animal Rescue launched a campaign

exposing what these animals endure. They call it torture.

UNKNOWN: Would you think it was cute if you knew that tickling a Slow Loris is actually torturing it?

KINKADE (voice-over): The campaign also shows how their teeth are removed without anaesthetic. In Indonesia, the IAR is the only organization there

which specializes in the rescue and rehabilitation of Slow Lorises.

UNKNOWN: They have undergone rehabilitation processes at Iari in Bogor for several days to make sure that they are healthy and with normal behavior.

KINKADE (voice-over): Now, rescue teams are focusing more on the earlier stages of trade, stopping the abuse before it begins, and intercepting

poachers while they still have them. Their efforts to save these animals from captivity are paying off. And now seven more Lorises are getting a new

start and slowly settling back into their home.

UNKNOWN: The release location has been selected because of its natural food, the presence of populations of similar species, and less potential of

predators or animals that could compete with it when it comes to natural food.


And we also had to avoid other threats, such as potential poaching by humans.

KINKADE (voice-over): This isn't the first set of Slow Lorises to be released. So far, according to the IAR, 1000 have been rescued and more

than 600 released to the wild. Lynda Kinkade, CNN.


GOLODRYGA: I have to admit they are very cute. Well, now, to new images that illustrate another way that our planet is changing in a manner that's

both powerful yet delicate.

You're looking at the beautiful monarch butterfly, seen here adding splashes of vibrant orange to the lush forests of central Mexico. They have

flown south to escape the winter weather in the U.S. and Canada, a journey of up to 2000 miles or around 3000 kilometers.

Scientists say their numbers have been in decline since the 90s because of climate change. However, some reports say the population has now

stabilized. Thankfully. We'll be right back.


GOLODRYGA: Well, a feisty feline may not have taken home the gold ribbon during a cat show in the U.S., but might have won first place for the best

smackdown. Jeanne Moos reports on the cat fight gone viral.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: They get stroked, they get lifted, they get stretched, they get their tails touched. No wonder a two-

year-old named Ludwig van Beethoven lost his composure. He even slapped the judge. Veteran Judge Vickie Nye says she fondly refers to the video --

VICKI NYE, JUDGE: It was the black cat smackdown.

MOOS (voice-over): The pedigreed show cats are accustomed to the commotion of a show like this one in Mesa, Arizona, organized by the Cat Fanciers

Association. But Beethoven was a first timer competing in the household pet category.

NYE: That one was just terrifying.


MOOS (voice-over): Did you actually attack a judge? Vicki says she's only been bitten twice in 35 years of judging. Okay, so this slap may not

compare with say the famous Oscar slap. As for Beethoven --

MOOS: So, this cat did not get a ribbon.

NYE: No, that kitty was actually disqualified.

MOOS: His owner said sorry, but for the feline Beethoven, the cat shows seem more cacophony than symphony. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


GOLODRYGA: There's nothing better than ending the week with a fabulous Jeanne Moos' piece. She is amazing. Well, that does it for this hour of ONE

WORLD. I'm Bianna Golodryga. Don't go anywhere. I'll be right back here with "AMANPOUR" after the break.